Nonlinear optics in relativistic plasmas and laser wake field acceleration of electrons

Donald P Umstadter, S. Y. Chen, A. Maksimchuk, G. Mourou, R. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

344 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When a terawatt-peak-power laser beam is focused into a gas jet, an electron plasma wave, driven by forward Raman scattering, is observed to accelerate a naturally collimated beam of electrons to relativistic energies (up to 109 total electrons, with an energy distribution maximizing at 2 megaelectron volts, a transverse emitrance as low as 1 millimeter- milliradian, and a field gradient of up to 2 megaelectron volts per centimeter). Electron acceleration and the appearance of high-frequency modulations in the transmitted light spectrum were both found to have sharp thresholds in laser power and plasma density. A hole in the center of the electron beam may indicate that plasma electrons were expelled radially.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-475
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume273
Issue number5274
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 26 1996

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relativistic plasmas
nonlinear optics
electron plasma
wakes
electron acceleration
gas jets
forward scattering
plasma waves
frequency modulation
plasma density
lasers
radiant flux density
energy distribution
electrons
laser beams
electron beams
Raman spectra
gradients
thresholds
energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Nonlinear optics in relativistic plasmas and laser wake field acceleration of electrons. / Umstadter, Donald P; Chen, S. Y.; Maksimchuk, A.; Mourou, G.; Wagner, R.

In: Science, Vol. 273, No. 5274, 26.07.1996, p. 472-475.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Umstadter, Donald P ; Chen, S. Y. ; Maksimchuk, A. ; Mourou, G. ; Wagner, R. / Nonlinear optics in relativistic plasmas and laser wake field acceleration of electrons. In: Science. 1996 ; Vol. 273, No. 5274. pp. 472-475.
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